Happy Halloween! This holiday started off as the Celtic celebration of Samhain when it was believed the barrier between the living and the dead was at its thinnest, later it became All Hallows Eve (the night before All Hallows Day which is old English for All Saint’s Day) and now has morphed into the candy carnival that is modern day Halloween.
For me, one of the most fascinating phenomena of Halloween is that of adults dressing in costume. For this one day each year, grown-ups pick someone or something to emulate. While ghouls, ghosts, & goblins have historical significance, it is the more mundane costumes of athletes, movie characters, superheroes, etc. that are my cause of fascination.
Many view this day as the one time each year when they can choose to be who they want to be, as opposed to who they believe they truly are. Their aspirations shine through. I remember going to a San Diego Gulls hockey game before the pandemic around Halloween. Many of the fans were in costume. My wife and I noticed a woman dressed as Princess Leia in the slave costume when she was captured by Jabba the Hutt. We sat in the same section about a month later and saw her again, this time she was not in costume and looked more like a librarian. To this day, I wonder what the choice of costume meant to her?
I also wonder who these people choose to be for the rest of the year? That’s right, choose to be. While it is true, to be an effective leader, to be a Locked On Leader, we need to be our authentic self, that is our TRUE SELF. It is also true that WE get to define ourselves. We get to decide what is important to us (our values) and WE get to decide if we want to live up to these values (our character). In other words, each and every day WE choose who WE want to be. This is not something that is thrust upon us by nurture or nature.
Every day can be Halloween without candy. So, pick who you want to be and be that person, every day, all day. It’s OK if you slip up and make a decision or act out of character sometimes, we’re human, give yourself grace, and learn from it so it doesn’t happen again. As you become more consistent your team will respond. Set the standard, show them the way, and you will see they will start to make similar choices.
If you feel like it, reply to this and let me know who you have decided to be! Happy Halloween